Across the U.S., millions of people face the reality of living with a mental illness. In the month of May, we promote awareness about the significance of mental health and its impact on the well-being of all people, including children, adults, families, and communities. Reaffirming our commitment to providing positive support, we stand in solidarity with those experiencing mental health concerns.

Together, we realize our shared vision of a community where anyone affected by mental illness can get the appropriate support and quality of care to live healthy, fulfilling lives. For questions or assistance with mental health, we encourage you to visit NSU’s Counseling and Career Services and Center for Positivity, Well-being, and Hope.

On Monday, the School of Education held their biannual pinning ceremony, celebrating 32 teacher education candidates that have demonstrated the ability to be effective and thoughtful teachers. All student teachers and residents who completed a 15-week internship with at least six formal observations in their second semester received a golden apple pin and certificate.

On Tuesday, the National Teacher Appreciation Day, The Louisiana Board of Regents recognized Louisiana’s newest cohort of young educators at the 2022 Future Educator Honor Roll in Baton Rouge. NSU students Shante Williams, a middle school math education major, and Madison Duplechine, an elementary education major, were selected for this accolade among 35 future teachers from across the state.

Congratulations to all our future educators as they prepare to shape the hearts and minds of future generations across the state. We hope the impact you have on your students will cultivate a desire for learning that will empower individuals to lead purposeful and fulfilling lives.

Also, on Tuesday, I had the privilege of speaking to the Rotary Club of Natchitoches about NSU’s footprint and institutional enhancements. During the luncheon, Rotary Club President Tommy Caldwell presented Lakeview High School graduating senior Meagan Corley with The Rotary Club Scholarship. Meagan will be attending NSU in the fall semester, and we are delighted to have her on campus.

Join me in congratulating the 87 students from 15 different high schools across the state of Louisiana who have earned an Associate of General Studies Degree from Northwestern State University through dual enrollment. Dual enrollment is a unique opportunity for high school students to take college-level courses and receive credit before graduating from high school. The degrees will be conferred in August.

Today we welcomed 27 graduates of the Class of 1972 to celebrate their 50th graduation anniversary from Northwestern State University. This afternoon, these graduates will receive their second degree at the Golden Jubilee Commencement ceremony surrounding celebration and reflection on their time spent at the university. During this memorable weekend, graduates are provided the chance to reconnect with old friends and revisit cherished memories made during their time here.

The university’s impact on so many people is evident in moments like this. May we all be reminded of the importance of the committed and supportive alumni sustaining the university’s growth and reputation.

The most celebrated event of the semester is next week, May 11-12. Commencement ceremonies serve as a constant reminder of our mission to cultivate our students’ intellect, creativity, and personhood so that they may experience vitality in their lives and careers.

The Spring 2022 commencement schedule can be found here.

Dr. Marcus D. Jones
Northwestern State University